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11-02-2013, 08:43 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Camera clubs aren't what they used to be - don't get me started on that subject...
I agree, but I was told that lack of market penetration at clubs (or with friends, etc) was one reason why Pentax has a market share roughly 1/10th of what I feel it should be.

11-02-2013, 08:53 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I agree, but I was told that lack of market penetration at clubs (or with friends, etc) was one reason why Pentax has a market share roughly 1/10th of what I feel it should be.
You won't get anyone proselytizing about Pentax cameras at camera clubs - the majority of camera club attendees( at least here in Oz) are older white males tho are convinced that if a camera doesn't have a Canon or Nikon label on it, it isn't worth a damn. Even I have raised some eyebrows amongst fellow professionals over the fact that I use Pentax and Leica Medium format cameras*.

Many photographers these days don't appreciate prime lenses, a majority( 90%) of the students I teach typically use Canon and Nikon DSLRs with 24-70mm and 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lenses. Though having said that, I have had a few Pentax, Leica and Sony photographers in my advanced photography classes - The pentax and Leica photographers were the ones who were by far the best students with their understanding of optics and photographic technique...go figure.

*I also use Phase one and Leaf digital Backs on a Sinar view camera for specialized commercial work but for a majority of commercial studio work I use the S2, and for outdoors work I use the 645D. Though sometimes I do sneak in my Leica M or a Pentax K5IIs - especially for macro photography with the FA*200mm f/4 ED the K5IIs is excellent for that kind of thing.

Last edited by Digitalis; 11-02-2013 at 09:02 PM.
11-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
are older white males tho are convinced that if a camera doesn't have a Canon or Nikon label on it, it isn't worth a damn.
Fair enough. What do you think convinced them of Canon/Nikon's superiority?
11-02-2013, 09:53 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I haven't heard what I consider a convincing argument yet.
The short answer is that technical superiority even when combined with a better value for money ratio does not automatically imply success.

The real answer is manifold and I'm not qualified to give it but I suspect the following (interdependent) factors:
  • Brand image and awareness (takes financial and time investment to improve. Pentax missed the boat a couple of times and hence lost their once strong position.).
  • Marketing (people have to be aware of the current choices, Pentax has a long history of neglecting marketing, including magazine adverts which directly influence what kind of reviews you get).
  • Influencers (you need prominent shooters and many more people who are capable of influencing buying decisions of others. There are a few important Pentax advocates but there are more advocates for other brands perhaps because their is more money in promoting other brands).
  • Distribution network (without committed distributors it is very hard to gain traction, I know of one Pentax distributor who is essentially killing the brand.).
  • Dealer relationships (dealers need a motivation to sell your gear, Hoya-Pentax burnt a lot of bridges).
  • Product presence (people need to be able to experience your gear, Pentax lost a lot of store presence in the Hoya period).
Having said all the above, I'm rather optimistic that Ricoh will steer Pentax into a much better future. They only need the stamina to do so, they've got some very capable engineers already.


Last edited by Class A; 11-03-2013 at 05:29 AM.
11-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
What do you think convinced them of Canon/Nikon's superiority?
you only have to look at the availability of Canon and Nikon products in Australian camera stores - every store has Nikon and Canon cameras in stock. Pentax has even more presence in stores than Leica does - but they manage to sell their cameras to the few that know about them.
11-03-2013, 02:20 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Marketing? I'd love more, but it's a internet-centric world. Why isn't dpreview, Ken Rockwell, Thom Hogan, etc., etc., etc., talking more about the Pentaxes?
Better to ask them. But KR and TH are with Nikon anyway, KR is a bad joke.
With DPReview, it should be about popularity; they stated several times more popular choices have priority. I can spot some recursion here: Pentax has to become more popular in order to become more popular.

OTOH, Pentax-centric places like this forum are full of complaints and people promoting other systems. A strategy based on us can't possibly work - they need marketing (and they're improving on that).

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Extremely weak 2011? Pentax had the best APS-C camera in the world in 2011.
2012 Products being Hoya leftovers? Pentax had the best APS-C camera in the world in 2012.
No new Pentax DSLR products were launched in 2011. Not sure about you, but I call this extremely weak.
The K-01, K-30, K-5IIs were projects started under Hoya/updated Pentax-Hoya products. I have a K-5IIs and it is a very good camera, but people complained about it not being something "new". And they were noisy.

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Uncertainty after Ricoh? Sure, I can see a bit of that for people on this forum, but I doubt the average consumer (the one who has never heard about Pentax) even knows they were owned by Hoya and/or owned by Ricoh now.
Few rows above, we were living in an internet-centric world

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Pentax has had (ignoring AF), unequivocally the best APS-C camera in the world since at least October of 2010.
But if you don't ignore AF? If you're told the AF is no good, and prompted to get this new shiny Rebel camera (because the salesman has a commission on it)?
Having the best products is no good, if people won't find out - and this means marketing. They also have to put them on shelves.

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Every week I hear someone say that APS-C is the most important format. OK, it's the biggest volume, so it's most important, I agree. But why is Pentax, in perhaps their biggest market, less than 7% of the market share?
No matter how many times you try, the answer is not "because they don't have a FF".
11-03-2013, 02:46 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Pentax has had (ignoring AF), unequivocally the best APS-C camera in the world since at least October of 2010.

Every week I hear someone say that APS-C is the most important format. OK, it's the biggest volume, so it's most important, I agree. But why is Pentax, in perhaps their biggest market, less than 7% of the market share?
You seem to assume that consumers buy "the best product" (whatever that means). This is just not the case. Otherwise every market would just be dominated by 1 product (the best...). People buy what the believe is the best product for them ... or what they have heard is the best ... or what has been recommended as the best ... or what their neighbour has bought ... or what their wife has approved to buy.
Understanding and influencing consumer decisisons is an art and an industry in its own.

Last edited by volley; 11-03-2013 at 07:43 AM. Reason: correcting typing error
11-03-2013, 03:16 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Again, in my opinion, 50%+ of the people who purchase APS-C cameras would be better served by Pentax than some other manufacturer.

They have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/10th that amount of people who actually purchase a Pentax.

So Pentax doesn't have specialty lenses. Why?
So Pentax doesn't have market penetration at clubs. Why?

After using NIkons and Canon's, Pentax is very clearly the market leader in APS-C camera usability. Pentax sensors are clearly superior to Canon. Pentax's implementation of sensors (no SLT) is clearly superior to Sony. Pentax's implementation of the same sensor is approximately tied with Nikon, but slightly better.

They have so many APS-C primes that other manufacturers don't have.

And yet even as they've had the best cameras, they have an unknown but likely less than 5% market share in the US and less than 7% in Japan, where, I've been told, they do have some marketing.

Why?

I haven't heard what I consider a convincing argument yet.
Pentax problems have nothing to do with whether or not the market is going to do a dramatic shift towards full frame. I say dramatic, because if you look at Nikon and Canon, at this point, 95 percent of the SLRs they sell are crop cameras. If Nikon is pushing their full frame options so hard and deliberately crippling APS-C by not releasing a top end APS-C camera and not releasing top end APS-C glass, why aren't they selling more?

Pentax's issues have to do with marketing, product placement, and overall perception of the brand. This last item was what suffered most under Hoya, although Hoya also made it a lot more difficult for dealers to carry the Pentax brand and did no advertising. People don't buy what they don't know about and this kills their market share world wide.

The K5, which I guess you are calling the best camera of 2011, got a lot of initial buzz, but then it got even more bad press. Sensor stains. Poor auto focus under tungsten light. Poor tracking. You would have thought it couldn't take a decent photo. If Pentax had been Nikon, they would have released a K5 II within six months of its release -- basically just to fix the problems and let people know everything was OK. That ended up happening two and a half years later under Ricoh.


Last edited by Rondec; 11-03-2013 at 03:21 AM.
11-03-2013, 04:54 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I know of one Pentax distributor who is essentially killing the brand
Gee I wonder who that could be...
11-03-2013, 07:49 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Better to ask them. But KR and TH are with Nikon anyway, KR is a bad joke.
KR isn't a bad joke, he's an abomination, but he doesn't shoot Pentax.
TH doesn't shoot Pentax.


QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
With DPReview, it should be about popularity; they stated several times more popular choices have priority.
Do you think the DPReview people shoot Pentax?

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
No new Pentax DSLR products were launched in 2011. Not sure about you, but I call this extremely weak.
They had two DSLR's released in October 2010 and three in total in 2010. Their 2011 lineup was their lowest-average-age DSLR lineup ever. Moreover, each of the three was a clear winner in it's field.


QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Few rows above, we were living in an internet-centric world
We still are. And yet the forum we're on right now - started by one Pentaxophile - is the leading Pentax info site in the world.


QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
But if you don't ignore AF? If you're told the AF is no good, and prompted to get this new shiny Rebel camera (because the salesman has a commission on it)?
You know what a common question for a salesman is? "What camera do you use?"

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
No matter how many times you try, the answer is not "because they don't have a FF".
I never said it was, but I am looking at a product strategy (best APS-C) that Pentax has been following for at least three and probably 5-7 years. That strategy clearly isn't working.

Putting products on (outdated retail model) dealer shelves will certainly help, and putting together some ad campaign certainly won't hurt, but if I'm an outside analyst, I don't think those things will meet Ricoh's stated goals.
11-03-2013, 07:55 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
You seem to assume that consumers buy "the best product" (whatever that means).
No, I've stated the opposite, several times. Pentax has a very clear 'winner' and has for the past 3 years, and has had very competitive offerings for the past seven years.

And, as I've stated, about 1 in 20 people purchase Pentax. Maybe less.

QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
This is just not the case. Otherwise every market would just be dominated by 1 product (the best...). People buy what the believe is the best product for them ... or what they have heard is the best ... or what has been recommended as the best ... or what their neighbour has bought ...
I agree completely. Obviously something other than technical superiority is at play. I know when I knew a bit less about cameras I went to camera shops, talked with advanced amateurs and occasional pro's, listened to what they recommended, etc.

None of them recommended Pentax, not even the shop that had about 20-30 different Pentax lenses. Didn't come up.
11-03-2013, 08:05 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Pentax problems have nothing to do with whether or not the market is going to do a dramatic shift towards full frame. I say dramatic, because if you look at Nikon and Canon, at this point, 95 percent of the SLRs they sell are crop cameras. If Nikon is pushing their full frame options so hard and deliberately crippling APS-C by not releasing a top end APS-C camera and not releasing top end APS-C glass, why aren't they selling more?
I think that Pentax should go after Nikon/Canon's lock on the market, which is mostly APS-C. How do they do that, without a full-frame model?
11-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
KR isn't a bad joke, he's an abomination, but he doesn't shoot Pentax.
TH doesn't shoot Pentax.
That's what I was saying.

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Do you think the DPReview people shoot Pentax?
No, but how is that relevant? They are reviewing Pentax equipment.

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
They had two DSLR's released in October 2010 and three in total in 2010. Their 2011 lineup was their lowest-average-age DSLR lineup ever. Moreover, each of the three was a clear winner in it's field.
Do you really believe that having no new DSLR product in 2011 didn't affect them at all?
Note that I'm not talking about January 2011.

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
We still are. And yet the forum we're on right now - started by one Pentaxophile - is the leading Pentax info site in the world.
Then you should agree that negativity spreads around.

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
You know what a common question for a salesman is? "What camera do you use?"
Is it? Why would I care, unless he has exactly the same needs and preferences as myself?

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I never said it was, but I am looking at a product strategy (best APS-C) that Pentax has been following for at least three and probably 5-7 years. That strategy clearly isn't working.

Putting products on (outdated retail model) dealer shelves will certainly help, and putting together some ad campaign certainly won't hurt, but if I'm an outside analyst, I don't think those things will meet Ricoh's stated goals.
If you're summarizing their strategy as "best APS-C", that confirms my feeling that you're searching for a "silver bullet" product, one camera to rule them all. There is no such thing.

Before the Hoya takeover, they were attempting to build a serious APS-C system around the newly announced K10D. They had quite a few lenses planned, even high grade ones like the DA*s and Limiteds.

Hoya changed that to a "protect the margins even at the expense of market share" strategy. The K-mount lens announcements declined (8-4-2-0 from 2008 to 2011), cost cutting everywhere (R&D included).
Yes, Pentax still managed to make good cameras now and then; but nothing to follow on the K10D's footsteps (that would be the K-3). It's misleading to say their strategy was to make the "best APS-C", and they were actually lagging behind in some key areas.

Ricoh changed the strategy again: it's "healthy growth" now. Which again doesn't mean the "best APS-C".
Instead what's needed is a constant stream of competent, well-placed products of multiple types. Rebuilding the K-mount line, cameras and lenses; don't skimp on product characteristics; marketing/advertising; fixing issues with distribution and service all around the world; getting back in stores for higher visibility; entering the new market... No silver bullet, but hard work on all areas will make them succeed.
11-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
No, but how is that relevant? They are reviewing Pentax equipment.
Are they? The k-5 II review was what, 7 months after introduction? I'm still waiting for the 645D review.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Do you really believe that having no new DSLR product in 2011 didn't affect them at all?
"at all" ? That's a rather broad-reaching statement. They had a very low-average-age-DSLR lineup at that point. I'll add that in 2011 Canon 'only' introduced the T3/T3i. The K-r was better, of course.


QuoteQuote:
that confirms my feeling that you're searching for a "silver bullet" product, one camera to rule them all.
Your feeling about what I'm searching for is wrong. In fact not only am I not searching for a 'silver bullet', the basic premise is wrong - I'm not searching for anything. I'm asking a group that seems quite against expanding Pentax's lineup how they see that fitting into a competitive strategy for the company, when the marketplace's most successful companies have a very different strategy.

I've made it very clear a few posts up that 'merely' a 'silver bullet' product is not enough.

Fortunately, Ricoh sees this, too; hopefully they execute soon enough that it's not a moot point.


QuoteQuote:
Yes, Pentax still managed to make good cameras now and then; but nothing to follow on the K10D's footsteps
The K-5 was better than any competitor (sans AF). The K-10 was better than it's competitors in some ways, too.


QuoteQuote:
It's misleading to say their strategy was to make the "best APS-C",
That's not my characterization of Pentax's strategy. That's what many on this board want, when they say that Pentax shouldn't waste it's time on FF. The FF cameras that the pros use, that the reviewers use, that the shop owners use, that the shop clerks use, that the advanced amateurs use... ..."Ignore those markets, APS-C is 95% of the market".

QuoteQuote:
Ricoh changed the strategy again: it's "healthy growth" now.
I've heard many things. Healthy growth is one of them. Competing on many fronts is another, thankfully.

Last edited by ElJamoquio; 11-03-2013 at 11:01 AM.
11-03-2013, 12:27 PM   #75
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I already gave you my opinion about DPReview:
QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
With DPReview, it should be about popularity; they stated several times more popular choices have priority. I can spot some recursion here: Pentax has to become more popular in order to become more popular.
They barely had the 2 DSLR cameras launched in 2010, until the 2012 K-30 which was a cheaper K-5, and then the K-5II/IIs which were updates on the K-5. Both K-r and K-5 had issues and no, you cannot ignore AF.
The K-5II series was just a little more than a D610 - not much was changed, besides fixing what went wrong with the K-5 (and yes, I believe they're amazing cameras).

You were saying "I am looking at a product strategy (best APS-C) that Pentax has been following for at least three and probably 5-7 years" and now you're claiming that's not your characterization, that it's something others were saying?
You are asking us, but rejecting our answers. Why is that? What exactly are you looking for?

I am for expanding the K-mount upwards, by the way; with the current market conditions I believe it's the smart thing to do (and that it will actually happens, most likely next year). However, APS-C is still the mainstream - not only that but only it can make a FF possible. No FF means limiting their growth; no APS-C means death.
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